SJM Sizes Up the World Pool Championship

benjaminwah

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The template rack resulted in the 9 ball ending up in the same exact place 85% of the time. Ridiculous. Only thing redeeming about that is it was the same way for everyone.
Pocket/shelf size does count but man, you can’t discount the pure nerves of steel some of these guys had to have. Skyler’s kicks against Albin were amazing. Albin’s jump shots under pressure too. Omar keeping his cool playing in the finals. Regardless of your criticism of the pocket quality I give them tons of credit for holding it together and performing at the level that they did.
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
i will beg to differ somewhat please dont shoot me.

in all championship things the equipment and or the playing conditions vary ,and many times greatly.
if its set up so only the very top make it to the end then only the top need be invited.

if the pockets are very tight then it excludes those that played top notch in all part of the game but may be a little weaker in ball pocketing. but the tight pockets favor those that excel in ball pocketing but may be weaker in position or planning of the layouts.

each tournament should have different conditions so different players win. that's my point.


look at golf. each course is entirely different. and the skills are different to win. baseball and football are played on very different venues to give two examples that are not true analogies.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i will beg to differ somewhat please dont shoot me.

in all championship things the equipment and or the playing conditions vary ,and many times greatly.
if its set up so only the very top make it to the end then only the top need be invited.

if the pockets are very tight then it excludes those that played top notch in all part of the game but may be a little weaker in ball pocketing. but the tight pockets favor those that excel in ball pocketing but may be weaker in position or planning of the layouts.

each tournament should have different conditions so different players win. that's my point.


look at golf. each course is entirely different. and the skills are different to win. baseball and football are played on very different venues to give two examples that are not true analogies.

this was a new brand of table (predator) that premiered in this championship. so it was new to everyone. the best players usually adapt well but failed to do so here, especially shaw, filler and svb. they missed too many shots.

i'm all for a standardization of pocket size and shelf, as proposed earlier in this thread. 4" pockets, deep shelf. i don't think it will reduce participation at all, there are many very good chinese tight pocket players.
 

JAM

Professional Railbird
Silver Member
I actually enjoyed all the commentators. Some of the pros sat in the booth and added a little behind-the-scenes color, which I enjoyed very much. It is my understanding that Jeremy Jones got the call to come to Milton Keynes to commentate, but a last-minute problem with the airline flight schedule prevented him from going.

I learned some new pool terminology for a safety play: "kick and stick."

Though I am still confused and not happy about the distribution of live coverage around the world, resulting in DAZN for USA when it's free for some other countries on Matchroom.live, which I am a member of, this is the best event I've ever experienced as a pool fan, and for me, it even surpasses the IPT extravaganzas, which I saw up front and close.

The pre-match and post-match interviews were the nuts. I loved every single one of them. This is what pool has needed for so very long. Give the players a personality so the viewership can get to know them. I just adored Omar after hearing him speak, and it seems that he's got quite a huge fan base in USA. I had not known about him previously. Yeah, I don't get out much anymore. I am most definitely out of the loop when it comes to the players of today, but I'm kind of glad that I am, in a way. This means we've got new blood in the sport. Keep it going!

Having the U.S. Open in Atlantic City is a godsend to us East Coast pool people. I am so sick and tired of everything being in Vegas. I never did like Vegas for a pool venue for a variety of reasons, but that's a topic for another thread.

Matchroom is creating a brand here with pool. I hope they someday come with some pool merchandise to purchase. I'd be the first in line. Matchroom baseball caps, coffee mugs T-shirts, hoodies, posters, with a Matchroom logo would help promote Matchroom to the masses. I'd wear my Matchroom hoodie with pride if I had one, and I would most definitely drink my coffee each morning with a Matchroom pool coffee mug. Can you imagine a Matchroom logo baseball caps with the signature of your favorite player?

Last but not least, I want to make mention of Emily Frazer. I follow her on social media and admire how she's brought pool and its players up a notch. In fact, all the players seem to love and respect her, which speaks volumes. She's doing a fantastic job, and I have no complaints. In my younger years, I ran a few pool events, and no matter how much you try, there will always be complaints about someone did not like this or did not like that. It is a fact that you can never, ever please everybody, and that's okay. What she's doing for pool is what we have needed for decades. She's not just a pretty face; she's got brains. And I am now a huge fan of hers, like the players are, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. Each event that she's involved in gets better and better and better. Matchroom is lucky to have her, and so are we pool fans.

One of my favorite screenshots of this finals was in the trophy presentation. Emily made a few very thoughtful remarks about Omar's great finish as runner-up, and when she finished, he gave her a huge hug. Tears welled up in my eyes, happy tears. What can I say? I'm a girl, and I'm a softie for stuff like that.
 

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terpdad

Registered
I don't agree with the arguments against the tables. I'm leaning towards "easy for one, easy for all." Nobody had time to prepare for these new tables, so I don't think anyone had a particular advantage. Plus, I'm all for underdogs having a shot.
 

smoochie

NotLikeThis
I don't agree with the arguments against the tables. I'm leaning towards "easy for one, easy for all." Nobody had time to prepare for these new tables, so I don't think anyone had a particular advantage. Plus, I'm all for underdogs having a shot.
So basically you want to close the skill-gap between all players, you think thats fair? So in a sense you want the lower-than-average skilled player to compete against a top pro like Shane in a race to 5.

If you make bucket-pockets this is exactly what will happen.

This is exactly why you have some players that are lower-than-average pro's in the final 8. I'm not saying they are not pro's. They are PRO's, but just not the TOP PRO's. I hope you get it.
 

terpdad

Registered
So basically you want to close the skill-gap between all players, you think thats fair? So in a sense you want the lower-than-average skilled player to compete against a top pro like Shane in a race to 5.

If you make bucket-pockets this is exactly what will happen.

This is exactly why you have some players that are lower-than-average pro's in the final 8. I'm not saying they are not pro's. They are PRO's, but just not the TOP PRO's. I hope you get it.
I got it before & I haven't changed my opinion. Different events & arenas across all sports have different conditions. The world keeps spinning.
 

benjaminwah

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Did you watch any of Oliver Szonoki’s matches? I hardly think he got as far as he did because of pocket size. The kid shot some amazing pool. He held it together vs Shane. When Shane did get to shoot he wasn’t the precision nerves of steel player he was throughout the tournament, he missed a long cut to get back in and make a come back. I think it hit the rail a diamond before the pocket.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
this was a new brand of table (predator) that premiered in this championship. so it was new to everyone. the best players usually adapt well but failed to do so here, especially shaw, filler and svb. they missed too many shots.

i'm all for a standardization of pocket size and shelf, as proposed earlier in this thread. 4" pockets, deep shelf. i don't think it will reduce participation at all, there are many very good chinese tight pocket players.
Watching one of the match videos and freezing the frame on the overhead camera view and zooming in on a corner pocket, although these appear to be 4-1/4” inch corner pockets, they sure appear to have extremely shallow shelves, compared to a Diamond table.

I would think if Predator wants this table to be as great as it is touted to be, they will listen to feedback from the players and they will make the necessary adjustments in the tables for future tournaments. All this would require is altering / decreasing the corner pocket and side pocket cutouts on the slates.
 

Kickin' Chicken

Kick Shot Afficionado
Silver Member
I don't agree with the arguments against the tables. I'm leaning towards "easy for one, easy for all." Nobody had time to prepare for these new tables, so I don't think anyone had a particular advantage. Plus, I'm all for underdogs having a shot.

I played on a non handicapped local bar league over the past decade or so and my team mates were a well skilled group of guys. The tables varied greatly at the places we played some rolled horribly and if you can imagine a couple still had the old oversized mudball cue balls.

The net effect of the bad equipment in our league was that it allowed the lower skilled players to be more competitive with the better players. For instance there was no more finesse game on these tables that rolled off etc and on the equipment with mudballs it became a mostly follow for position game all of which was more of a handicap to the higher skilled players.

An extreme example, I know, but it underscores how bad equipment can narrow the gap between skill levels.

In the case of the wpc tables, some balls were going in that hit well up the rail and some even went into corners successfully that actually hit pocket points on the way in. To me those looked more gaffey than just easy.

It stands to reason that the higher skilled players would hit less rails and points on the way into pockets so tables that accept such shots are *more* of an advantage to less skilled players.

best,
brian kc
 
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The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Negative #1: Biased Commentators
Far too often, the commentators were biased. They were, at times, a) far from objective in their introductory match comments, b) apologists for the errors of their preferred players, c) overly critical of the errors and even near errors of their opponents, d) less than objective about which player was having the better of the luck.
a) People will always have the favourites, commentators or not. Being impartial only matters if they can control the outcome.
b) I didn't notice anything too lop sided here. I didn't catch every moment so maybe I missed it. Couldn't be any worse than what we're seeing here on AZB for Shane.
c) I found the critical comments refreshing. Some of the errors I witnessed were bordering on embrassing for the game on the professional level.
d) 'Luck' is subjectve bs to begin with. Hard to be objective about a subjective subject...lol
Negative #2: Unprepared Commentators
I honestly don't know who to blame on this one. If there's blame to pass around. Maybe Matchroom needs to hire on Mike Page to provide match up stats...?
Negative #3: Equipment Not Befitting a World Championship
This was the biggest negative. The equipment was way too easy for players of this caliber, a point reinforced in commentary by both Boyes and Shaw. This made the elite players more vulnerable and ultimately delivered an unusually weak final eight, in which no player whose Fargo rate placed them in the world’s top 15 was present. Watching balls poorly hit going in time after time was hard to bear, and the event was cheapened by the fact that the test was not stiff enough for the world’s best pool players.
The best three story lines from the tournament were Jasmin, Szolnoki and Omar. If looser equipment means interesting cinderella story lines, then give me 5" pockets. Hard to believe that Albin's performance in repeating a world championship is considered weak.
Negative #4: Super-weak Field
This cannot be blamed on Matchroom
punt...
Positive #1: The Arena
It looked amazing.
Positive #2: The Ticker on the Screen
Although not in very frequent use
Totally absent on the first day. I'm going to take credit for bitching about it which obviously triggered the decision to use it moving forward 😁
Positive #3: Occasional Look-ins at Other Matches
Matchroom stayed abreast of all the matches
Not on day 1... I witnessed one single panning over a non 'table 1' match during that first day. I also bitched about that... I would assume they already had the cameras in place and maybe just forgot about them during the first day....lol. I had to go to Matchroom's live scores page to find out the status of the players I wanted to follow.
Positive #4: Post-Match Interviews
Excellent stuff... Almost like real sports coverage...lol
Positive #5: The Referees and Officiating in General
I don't know why Leyman rubs me the wrong way, but yes, tip of the hat to all of them.
Positive #6: Women in the Field
Should have always been IMHO. If you've earned the right to be there then you should be. Leave it up to individual countries to determine who should be there.
Positive #7: Great Commentary in the Final
Hooking up Boyes and Lely to commentate the final was a stroke of genius.
Obvious choice imo...

I know there's a ton of hate towards Yates on this forum. Well at least those who dislike him are vocal about it. Personally I think he's a great transistion man, and the vast bulk of his comments were on task and was one of the few that pointed out patterns in either success or failure of the players.
 
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sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
a) People will always have the favourites, commentators or not. Being impartial only matters if they can control the outcome.
b) I didn't notice anything too lop sided here. I didn't catch every moment so maybe I missed it. Couldn't be any worse than what we're seeing here on AZB for Shane.
c) I found the critical comments refreshing. Some of the errors I witnessed were bordering on embrassing for the game on the professional level.
d) 'Luck' is subjectve bs to begin with. Hard to be objective about a subjective subject...lol

I honestly don't know who to blame on this one. If there's blame to pass around. Maybe Matchroom needs to hire on Mike Page to provide match up stats...?

The best three story lines from the tournament were Jasmin, Szolnoki and Omar. If looser equipment means interesting cinderella story lines, then give me 5" pockets. Hard to believe that Albin's performance in repeating a world championship is considered weak.

punt...

It looked amazing.

Totally absent on the first day. I'm going to take credit for bitching about it which obviously triggered the decision to use it moving forward 😁

Not on day 1... I witnessed one single panning over a non 'table 1' match during that first day. I also bitched about that... I would assume they already had the cameras in place and maybe just forgot about them during the first day....lol. I had to go to Matchroom's live scores page to find out the status of the players I wanted to follow.

Excellent stuff... Almost like real sports coverage...lol

I don't know why Leyman rubs me the wrong way, but yes, tip of the hat to all of them.

Should have always been IMHO. If you've earned the right to be there then you should be. Leave it up to individual countries to determine who should be there.

Obvious choice imo...

I know there's a ton of hate towards Yates on this forum. Well at least those who dislike him are vocal about it. Personally I think he's a great transistion man, and the vast bulk of his comments were on task and was one of the few that pointed out patterns in either success or failure of the players.
Thanks for such a carefully considered response, JV.

On your last point, I think Yates has the best voice of all of them for commentary, and if he played transition man alone it would be an improvement, but he tends to throw poorly considered opinions into the mix too often for this fan and also tends to drown the viewer in the obvious. He also has a tendency to repeat, in slightly different words, the exact thoughts just expressed by the commentator. He can be a valuable member of the commentary team if he fine tunes his act.
 

Swighey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree pretty much with everything here except the commentary. I thought that while the guest commemtators were inevitably biased occasionally, they were actually unbiased most of the time. Having competitors who were knocked out a day or hours ago turn up in the box to commentate on the game is one of great things about this game. Their views are invaluable, biased or not.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
No one ever bothers to do this, but I'd like more coverage / content on the various players' strokes and forms especially when it contributes to a miss. Matchroom (and everyone else) alternates between the same three camera views (overhead, 3/4 showing players backs, close up on player's face). Contrast this with golf coverage where swing mechanics are a common topic and help educate viewers as to what caused a poor shot.
Time to get rid of the overhead camera. It's a one dimensional look at a three dimensional game. This camera has always been the go-to or fallback camera for the director when he doesn't understand what's going on and which camera should be used. You will always need a diredctor who truly understands the game of pool. Pat Fleming is about the only one out there at the moment who does.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Time to get rid of the overhead camera. It's a one dimensional look at a three dimensional game. This camera has always been the go-to or fallback camera for the director when he doesn't understand what's going on and which camera should be used. You will always need a diredctor who truly understands the game of pool. Pat Fleming is about the only one out there at the moment who does.
That's tough... it's really the only angle a viewer can get a legit handle on the layout of the table. Unless you're going to strap GoPros to the player's foreheads I'm not sure how you can (as a tv viewer) get a sense of the layout as the player knows it to be.

Even the commentators mildly argue the potting angles and clearances from their vantage points.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
That's tough... it's really the only angle a viewer can get a legit handle on the layout of the table. Unless you're going to strap GoPros to the player's foreheads I'm not sure how you can (as a tv viewer) get a sense of the layout as the player knows it to be.

Even the commentators mildly argue the potting angles and clearances from their vantage points.
That's why you need a good director. Proper use of the existing cameras and closing (moving in closer) on the balls will help the viewers understand what situation a player is facing. I've always said there is a rhythm to the game of pool. There is the actual shot and then there is the time in between shots. This in-between time is when some good camera work will explain to the viewer what the coms are talking about. Rarely have I seen a televised pool match where anything like this takes place. Accu-Stats comes closest.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
That's why you need a good director. Proper use of the existing cameras and closing (moving in closer) on the balls will help the viewers understand what situation a player is facing. I've always said there is a rhythm to the game of pool. There is the actual shot and then there is the time in between shots. This in-between time is when some good camera work will explain to the viewer what the coms are talking about. Rarely have I seen a televised pool match where anything like this takes place. Accu-Stats comes closest.
Ya, agreed... But pool, and more specifically pattern play is unique. Whipping cameras around within the <30sec pauses between shots (at best) is a tall order. Not to mention those pesky players getting in the way of the angle required...lol

We do have the tech to do what you suggest without a doubt. The NFL 'Skycam' comes to mind. Some one just needs to whisper in the right person's ear at Matchroom.
 

gerryf

Well-known member
That's why you need a good director. Proper use of the existing cameras and closing (moving in closer) on the balls will help the viewers understand what situation a player is facing. I've always said there is a rhythm to the game of pool. There is the actual shot and then there is the time in between shots. This in-between time is when some good camera work will explain to the viewer what the coms are talking about. Rarely have I seen a televised pool match where anything like this takes place. Accu-Stats comes closest.
I agree that you need a good director.

One of my pet peeves is those events that fail to color match the cameras. They switch to a different camera and suddenly the 3, 4, and 5 all look the same, the 1 and the 9 look the same, and the 2, 4, 6, and 8 are also hard to tell apart. It's funny to hear the commentators asking is that the 4 or the 5?

And the distance, together with a low resolution camera, means you often can't tell if a ball is a solid or stripe.

There are a slew of events on Youtube where the volume is significantly different between the two commentators.

These professionally managed events like Matchroom go a long way to dealing with those problems.
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
if you give sub par viewing you simply get less viewers to watch and pay.
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
there are many skills in pool to make a great player and the pocketing of balls is of course important. but if the tables are too tight then it makes that aspect the primary skill and turns pool into a primarily a shooting contest.
 
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